Bryant Yee

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A Place to Go

A Place to Go is a group of RTKL staff attempting to make a difference through design. The team is working to design, fund and build a sustainable biogas toilet for the Jitegemee School in Machakos, Kenya. The $15,000 unit will help save energy, eliminate the need for costly and dirty charcoal, provide compost for the school garden, recycle waste and produce biogas to fuel more efficient stoves in the school kitchen. By embracing a new way of thinking about toilet design, the school can improve the quality of life for students and the surrounding community.

recognition

  • Best of the Best, by RTKL (2013)

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The Team

Existing Conditions

The Jitegemee School is a community center located in Machakos, Kenya which serves approximately 200 children as an alternative to life on the street. The center provides a meal program, health education, tutoring, vocational training and job placement.

A new campus is currently being constructed that will include classrooms, a library, technology center, staff offices and a kitchen. The campus will be a sustainable model for the community by showcasing rainwater collection, solar hot-water heating, biogas production, poultry farming and a tree nursery.

The existing toilet at the Jitegemee School is a single pit-latrine. All 200 students – both boys and girls – currently share this single toilet. When the pit is full, a new hole is dug and the latrine is simply moved to a new location and the old hole is filled with soil. We viewed this particular aspect of the new campus as an opportunity to make a big difference in the quality of life for Jitegemee students.

From the beginning, we knew we wanted this effort to have its own identity. Something to promote. Something for people to connect with. We also knew this identity had to be simple, but express a sense of humor due to the tongue and cheek tone of our campaign and the tabooed nature of our subject matter. The final A Place To Go logo hit the sweet spot, perfectly straddling the line between professional and playful. The “A” is a nod to the current pit latrine used at the school, with the footprints reminding us of the kids who will benefit from this effort. The simplicity of the logo has allowed for it to work across mediums and applications in any scale or color.

How it works

An important part of our campaign and fundraising efforts was communicating to potential donors how the biogas toilet works. This simple graphic was created to illustrate the entire process from poop to plate and back again. The graphic has been used in a variety of mediums, including an animated version for our intro video, an interactive version on our website and a still version for use in presentations.